Trekking by mule from Lalibela to Abune Yoseph
3 Nights/4 Days
This trek begins in Lalibela and passes through breathtaking panoramic views of surrounding mountains dotted by clusters of grass thatched traditional huts before entering the serene Afroalpine meadows of the Abune Yoseph Community Conservation Area. Spend 2 nights in the community lodge while exploring the nearby terrain including the 14th century cave monastery.
Day 1: Leave Lalibela and head to the Atabiqign TESFA community hut or the Lalibela Hudad private lodge; 5-6 hours and 4-5 hours respectively. The trek begins with a gentle stroll through heather and Erica forests towards the church of Asheton Mariam at 3,300m. The views from the trail include surrounding mountains and grass thatched traditional huts.
Day 2: Begin your day with a walk to the Abune Yoseph Community Conservation Area, passing small villages. After 2.5 hours, you will arrive in Wedebye. From there, the trail winds it way into flat plains until you reach the village of Tekukebele at the base of some impressive rock towers. The village has a market on Thursdays. From here, the trail meanders through the impressive Afroalpine habitat, past thre three highest peaks in the area, and ends at the ACCA Lodge. From Atabiqign community hut the trek is about 5-6 hours. From the Hudad Lodge its about 6-7 hours. After a brief rest, take some time to explore the escarpments near the lodge.
Day 3: Head towards the Abune Yoseph Peak (Rim Gedel) on a lush green trail for one hour. The trail then becomes rocky and steep and here you begin your ascent of the third highest mountain in Ethiopia. Leaving the summit behind, head through the giant lobelia valley and follow the trail down the escarpment to the 14th century cave monastery. You can return to the lodge on a different path – the total loop trail takes about 5 hours. Keep your eyes peeled for the Ethiopian wolf, gelada and lammergeyer on the way.
Day 4: There are several different options for leaving ACCA. You can trek 2-3 hours to the small village of Tekukebele where you can arrange for a car to meet you (a 2-3 hour drive back to Lalibela); you can continue on to a TESFA community hut; or you can hike to the eastern edge of ACCA to the village of Gidan (? - ? hours??) where you can arrange for a car to meet you.